The Wyoming Game Wardens Association was formed in 1973 for the purpose of furnishing a medium for good fellowship and loyalty to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department and fellow officers, effectively maintaining the wildlife resources of the State, promoting a more efficient and able force of wardens and to meet our responsibilities and problems collectively. The Association is classified as a nonprofit charitable organization for tax purposes.
Since 1985, the Wyoming Game Wardens Association has had the ability to provide financial assistance to various charitable organizations, programs designed to enhance outdoor awareness to school age children, research designed to improve wildlife law enforcement, handicapped hunter assistance, scholarship programs and memorial funds. Total contributions have exceeded $400,000 since 1985.
Membership to the Wyoming Game Wardens Association is comprised of all commissioned Wyoming Game and Fish Department law enforcement officers (88), retired officers and associate members. Current membership is now at 185.
MISSION OF THE WGWA
To promote and perpetuate the traditions, duty, responsibilities and role of the Wyoming Game Warden. To advocate the continued status of the Game Warden position as a multi-purpose wildlife professional serving as a law enforcement officer, wildlife manager and liaison between wildlife constituents and the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. To honor those who have served before by upholding applicable traditions and developing new methods to address evolving environments and constituents. To advocate for the continued development and advancement of the wildlife investigative unit and those officers who serve on the unit. To advocate through it’s membership, the concept of sustaining the honor, respect and reputation of the Wyoming Game Warden and all Wyoming Game & Fish Law Enforcement Officers through service to wildlife and the people of the State of Wyoming.
June 30, 2020
In April 2020, I was elected President of the Wyoming Game Wardens Association (WGWA). At the same time, we were also just beginning to understand the significance of the Covid-19 pandemic and how this public health crisis would turn peoples’ lives upside down. Although many WGWA members worked remotely and autonomously prior to the pandemic, it undoubtedly changed the way members had to manage all of their responsibilities both personally and professionally. WGWA members were called to continue to be the professional face of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) but they were also required to serve the roles of teacher, coach, and caregiver with more demands than ever at home. As the world and Wyoming began to open up a few weeks ago and we began to see glimmers of normality more challenges arose. For the last few weeks, law enforcement has been under the microscope of legal and political commentators making for rising tensions in the law enforcement work environment. Through all of this, it has been amazing to see how resilient and adaptable our members have been. Even during these difficult times, our members have stayed focused on conserving Wyoming’s wildlife and serving the people of Wyoming.
These times have also challenged and changed the way WGWA conducted business. As an Association we are weathering this storm and finding new opportunities to thrive. WGWA has implemented virtual meetings, completed online officer and representative elections, and we are also working with Wyoming Outdoor Weekend and Expo to sell tickets for an online commissioner tag raffle.
WGWA executive officers had to make the difficult decision to cancel our annual meeting and banquet in 2020. This meeting is usually a time for us to offer valuable law enforcement training, share in good fellowship with longstanding and new members, and raise funds for the Association. During the banquet, we would have also had the opportunity to honor retired game wardens and our WGWA award recipients. Neil Hymas- Cokeville Game Warden, John Demaree-Laramie Wildlife Investigator, and John Davis-Moorcroft Game Warden retired in 2020. Each of these men made innumerable contributions to wildlife conservation and their dedication to the wildlife resources of Wyoming is very much appreciated. I also would like to congratulate the following individuals for winning the 2019 WGWA awards: Brian Debolt-Large Carnivore Conflict Coordinator (Officer of the Year), Erika Peckham-Gillette Wildlife Biologist (Wildlife Biologist of the Year) and Dr. Richard Wihera- Senior Consulting Psychologist (Support Person of the Year). We hope to have each of these valued award recipients attend our 2021 annual banquet and meeting to receive the full recognition that they deserve.
Although WGWA saw some financial losses with being unable to hold the annual banquet we anticipate a sustainable financial future which will allow us to continue providing financial assistance to various programs designed to enhance outdoor awareness and wildlife conservation. In 2020, $500 scholarships were awarded to 14 exceptional students across the state. WGWA committees have also been busy over the last few months. Construction of the Casper Regional Office’s WGFD Fallen Wall (Department employee memorial) is underway with expected completion by early 2021. The Legislative Committee is gearing up for a busy legislative session and planning for ways to increase our contributions to conservation and law enforcement policy wins. Our Social Media Committees have done a fantastic job increasing awareness of WGWA’s mission through our social media platforms.
Looking forward, I intend on traveling around the state to meet with WGWA members to determine what concerns, issues, and successes they were facing. I am committed to advocating for the WGWA membership. I will work to be an effective liaison between the WGWA membership and WGFD administration. I will work to maintain and enhance the WGWA’s relationship with Commissioners, as Commissioners Licenses are an essential component of WGWA funding. Fostering these relationships and Commissioners’ understanding of the important work the WGWA does could be extremely beneficial to the funding future of the WGWA.
In the next few months, the Association will be working diligently to make valuable contributions that sustain the traditions and mission of the WGWA. We may not know how long these challenging times will last, but my hope is that you will have the opportunity to reflect on this time as a period of growth, cherished time with family, and a reminder of the solace Wyoming’s wildlife and wild places provide in even the craziest times.
Teal Cufaude – WGWA President
PRESIDENT – Teal Cufaude – Retired West Rawlins Game Warden
VICE PRESIDENT – Bill Brinegar – South Laramie Game Warden
SECRETARY – Kristen DaVanon – North Laramie Game Warden
TREASURER – John Demaree – Retired Laramie Investigator
EXECUTIVE OFFICER – Daniel Beach – Sheridan Investigator
REGION 1 DIRECTOR – James Hobbs – Afton Game Warden
REGION 2 DIRECTOR – Dillon Herman – Lovell Game Warden
REGION 3 DIRECTOR – Levi Wood – South Gillette Game Warden
REGION 4 DIRECTOR – Kim Olson – Baggs Game Warden
REGION 5 DIRECTOR – Luke May – Torrington Game Warden
REGION 6 DIRECTOR – Mitch Renteria – South Riverton Game Warden
REGION 7 DIRECTOR – Jake Kettley – East Casper Game Warden
NAWEOA/WLEA Memorial – Aaron Kerr
Historian – Bill Robertson
Parades – Mitch Renteria, Jason Sherwood
Retirement – Bill Robertson
Legislative – Bill Brinegar
Health Insurance/Compensation – Aaron Kerr
Poach Coach – Rod Lebert, Jake Kettley
Website – Dustin Kirsch, John Demaree
Facebook – Kristen DaVanon, Dustin Kirsch
Instagram – Kristen DaVanon
Fallen Officer – Daniel Beach
Honor Guard – Justin Dodd
Mailing Address: WGWA, P.O. Box 1241, Laramie, WY 82073
Email Address: WyGameWardensAssoc@gmail.com
New Green River Game Wardens Rob Shipe (left) and Justin Dodd (right) qualify
with their shotguns.
Game Warden Dave Hays (right in camo) instructs Green River Wildlife Supervisor Steve DeCecco and Cokeville Game Warden Neil Hymas.
The Southwest Chapter of Muley Fanatics Foundation donated ten Mossberg inert firearms to be used to teach students proper firearms handling. The guns cannot fire ammunition, but dummy ammo rounds may be loaded. The cost of the two gun sets was $3,000.00! Thank you Muley Fanatics! Photo left, left to right: David Munoz, Aaron Logan, Dan Stanton, Chris Steffen, Don Cuthbertson, Kevin Spence, and Green River Wildlife Supervisor Steve DeCecco. (photo left)
Lovell Game Warden James Hobbs attended the Lovell Health and Safety fair to teach residents about boating safety and the importance of wearing a personal flotation device while on the water.
Green River Game Wardens Rob Shipe (left) and Justin Dodd (right) check anglers on Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
Green River Wildlife Management Coordinator Mark Zornes, Evanston Game Warden Nick Roberts, and Kemmerer Game Warden Chris Baird conducted a horse care and familiarization training, including riding and packing, for our game warden trainees in June on the Fontenelle Face. Pictured at left are Chris, Nick, Robb Shipe and Justin Dodd.
North Gillette Game Warden Brooke Weaver (photo below) helps a couple young ladies identify furs at
Gillette's 125th Year Celebration.
Dubois Game Warden Brian Baker in the field.
Moorcroft Game John Davis investigates the area north of Gillette where a 5X6 buck mule deer was shot with a firearm during the archery season.
Tough Duty – South Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash strikes out across Jackson Lake with his trusty dog Jax to check ice fishermen.
Game wardens Todd Graham and Kyle Lash Lash (Left) and Jackson feed ground manager Dave Hyde stand at the gate the elk were supposed to go through as they discuss how the elk eluded them.
Medicine Bow Game Warden Jake Kettley served as a judge for the Carbon County School District Science Fair in January. Kettley judged the 7th grade division and said he could not believe the complexity of some of the projects and was very impressed with them. Photo courtesy of Liz Wood/Saratoga Sun.
Rock Springs Game Warden Dave Hays and Regional Wildlife Supervisor Steve DeCecco at a recent public meeting.
South Pinedale Game Warden Jordan Kraft (front) and Pinedale Wildlife Biologist Dean Clause count elk from a horse-drawn haysled as it passes by the herd at the Muddy Creek feed ground south of Boulder.
Game wardens Chris Baird (left), Neil Hymas (middle), and Andy Countryman hold elk antlers confiscated after they were collected illegally during the closed shed antler gathering season in 2014.
Greybull Game Warden Bill Robertson steadies one of 25 bighorn sheep captured from Hunt Area 12 as Access Coordinator Dan Smith prepares an ear tag.
Dubois Game Warden Brian Baker and volunteers help capture, sample, collar and release bighorn sheep on Sacajawea Ridge on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
Greybull Wildlife Biologist Leslie Schreiber, Lovell Game Warden James Hobbs, and Rawlins Game Warden Brady Frude release the sheep into the Seminoe Mountains.
Warden Lash and Jackson Wildlife Coordinator Doug Brimeyer prepare to reverse the tranquilizer drug and release the moose.
PLPW Coordinator Troy Tobiasson teaching a Hunter Education class in Kaycee.
Green River Region biologists, game wardens and local volunteers shovel snow off the patrol cabin roof near La Barge, Wyoming. The shovelers also enjoyed a snowmobile trip. Someone has to do it! :)
(Both photos above)
Jackson Game warden, Kyle Lash, visits with a group of ice fishermen on Jackson Lake.
Lander Game Warden Brady Frude with students
Picture provided by Silver Fox Imaging: Brady Frude carrying a bighorn ewe with Greg Hiatt and Hank Edwards in tow.
Thermopolis game warden Benge Brown, examines the leaders on a sagebrush to determine the percent utilization.
PLPW Coordinator Troy Tobiasson (photo at left) shows black bear claws to event participants.
Green River Regional Supervisor Steve DeCecco assisting a hunter education class.
Elk Mountain Game Warden Ryan Kenneda conducting Telemetry work.
North Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens steadies a recently collared elk before her release.
Green River Game Warden Andy Roosa teaching hunter education.
Buffalo Access Warden Troy Tobiasson conducting a necropsy.
Warden Coordinator Scott Werbelow overlooking the Medicine Lodge Wildlife Habitat Unit.
North Riverton Warden Julien visits with Wyoming Cowboy Tough Adventure race team on Boysen Reservoir.
Lander Warden Brad Hovinga scouting the landscape.
Green River Game Wardens Dillon Herman and Andy Roosa assist Green River Wildlife Biologist Patrick Burke in checking in a Bighorn Sheep.
Law Enforcement Coordinator Aaron Kerr classifying antelope near Casper.
Green River Game Warden Dillon Herman conducting watercraft inspections on Flaming Gorge Reservoir.
Kyle Lash (left) and Jon Stephens (right) brave the weather at Hurricane Pass while doing bighorn sheep surveys on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.
Big Piney Game Warden Adam Hymas being filmed for a pilot show on Animal Planet.
North Riverton Game Warden Jessica Beecham checking a hunting license.
East Casper Game Warden Cody Bish removing a Great Horned Owl which had a trap on its left foot and became tangled in a tree.
Kemmerer Access Warden Andy Countryman teaching Hunter Education.
Saratoga Game Warden Biff Burton checks deer hunters.
Torrington Game Warden Rob Hipp preparing pheasants for release.
South Pinedale Game Warden Jordan Kraft investigating a mule deer poaching.
Worland Game Warden Matt Lentch with a Loon rescued near Worland.
Jeff Smith, Laramie Supervisor
East Rawlins Game Warden Brady Frude with a young Bobcat kitten.
South Jackson Game Warden Kyle Lash, pauses in front of the North Fork of the Buffalo Falls.
North Jackson Game Warden Jon Stephens checks in a Mountain Goat from area 2.
Access Coordinator Dan Smith fixing signs in the Copper Mountain Hunter Management Area.
Elk Mountain Game Warden Ryan Kenneda with the head of 6x7 Mule Deer that poached near Elk Mountain.
Torrington Game Warden Rob Hipp with a tranquilized Bighorn Sheep.
Worland Game Warden Matt Lentch with 88 dead mallards retrieved from a warm water ditch south of Manderson.
Laramie Wildlife Biologist Lee Knox and Game Warden Jackie Otto prepare to take off.
Game wardens and biologists 2008 Horse Training graduate class, Douglas, Wyoming
1959 Game Wardens
Winter Condition Survey with Casper Game Warden Matt Withroder and Laramie Game Wardens Bill Haley and Kelly Todd
Kaycee Game Warden Kyle Lash Checking a Pronghorn Hunter
Wheatland Game Warden Craig Smith darting a nuisance black bear near Guernsey
Elk Mountain Game Warden Ryan Kenneda checking elk hunters in a snowstorm
Saratoga Game Warden Biff Burton and Biologist Will Schultz with a tranquilized cougar
Casper Game Warden Daniel Beach relocating a nuisance black bear
Thermopolis Game Warden Benge Brown horseback on the Wood River
Lovell Game Warden James Hobbs and Cody Access Game Warden Dan Smith collecting evidence
Meeteetsee Game Warden Jim Olson and his mule